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Tesla puts Powerwall customers to use against California blackouts. 

image credit: Courtesy Dreamstime
Christopher Neely's picture
Independent, Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 755 items added with 372,914 views
  • Jun 28, 2022

It seems like resilience against blackouts is going to require a more democratic effort in California, at least for the time being as the state's power grid will, in part, rely on customers of Tesla's battery Powerwall technology to take some demand off the grid in special circumstances. 

Although, that appears to be more of a last resort. During stressed moments for the grid, Powerwall customers in PG&E's service area will be taken off the grid and asked to rely almost exclusively on their Powerwall's stored energy, with PG&E paying Powerwall customers up to $2 per kilowatt-hour they take off the grid—a nice deal considering it costs about 50¢ oer kilowatt-hour to charge up the battery system. 

The program requires customers to opt-in to participate. I am a little confused by the program, however, as this type of backup is the point of the Tesla Powerwall in the home—store renewable energy that allows customers to decrease reliance on the grid. That PG&E is willing to pay a 300% upcharge to Powerwall customers during moments of high grid stress seems to be a good deal for Tesla customers. According to Ars Technica, the program between PG&E and Tesla guarantees customers at least 20 hours of grid stress events.  


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